Former Seattle Seahawks safety Kenny Easley, who played from 1981-1987, was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday with five other former NFL talents and one owner. Easley becomes the fourth (primarily-)Seahawk initiated into the Hall, after Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy and Walter Jones.
Easley, whose nickname “The Enforcer” predated Kam Chancellor’s adoption of the moniker, recorded 32 interceptions with Seattle in his career, which was cut short due to kidney ailments he attributed to administration of painkillers by the team’s then-doctors in cooperation with legal drug suppliers in the 1980s. Though Easley was one of the most feared defenders of his era, the first period of success for the franchise including its first three postseason appearances, the length of his career was long considered an obstacle to the five-time Pro-Bowler and three-time All-Pro safety ever reaching the Hall of Fame. Easley was a cornerstone of the 1984 Seahawks who forced 63 turnovers, the third-most all time in league history.
(Read more about Kenny Easley’s Seahawks saga in the four-part interview by Bob Kaupang for Field Gulls here.)
Easley joins Terrell Davis, LeDainian Tomlinson, Morten Anderson, Jason Taylor, owner Jerry Jones and Kurt Warner in the 2017 class (not the Seattle running back Curt Warner who played with Easley, but the quarterback who played for the St. Louis Rams, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals in the 2000s).
Easley’s induction, both as a safety (there are only seven full-time safeties out of 24 total defensive backs in the Hall of Fame) and because of his short career, is a good sign that Earl Thomas may already possess a good chance for enshrinement in the Hall, even if he retires this offseason. However, although Thomas indicated he was considering finishing his career after his broken leg late in 2016, he has since said he wants to come back in 2017.